How to Keep a Reef Aquarium Maintenance Schedule
Having a reef aquarium can seem like a daunting task, especially when considering all of the maintenance required to keep your reef happy and healthy. Setting a schedule for reef tank maintenance is a great way to help keep these tasks completed and prevent them from getting out of control. Here's a list of recommended reef tank maintenance tasks, and a guideline to help schedule these maintenance chores.
- Feed the fish 2-3 times per day depending on the dietary needs of the fish.
- Top off evaporated water with RO/DI fresh water.
- Dose daily supplements and/or additives.
- Check the pH (easy to do with a pH monitor or controller).
- Check the water temperature.
- Perform a visual inspection of your fish, corals and inverts to identify health concerns.
- Perform a visual inspection of your equipment to spot any potential problems.
- Test and record water parameters (salinity, calcium, alkalinity, phosphate, nitrate, etc).
- Empty and clean the protein skimmer collection cup.
- Perform a small water change (weekly or monthly depending on tank size and bio-load).
- Clean algae off the glass or acrylic.
- Clean filter socks and / or filter pads.
- Wipe any salt creep from exterior of tank.
- Make sure ATO reservoir is full.
- Dust off LED lights with compressed air.
- Clean return pump / impellers if needed.
- Clean in tank circulation pumps / impellers if needed.
- Replace carbon or other filter media if depleted.
- Back flush RO/DI membrane.
- Change light bulbs if using T5, Compact Fluorescent, or Metal Halide bulbs.
- Replace calcium reactor media and refill CO2 tank.
- Replace RO/DI filter media as needed.
- Replace worn out probes as needed.